NTSB Identification: FTW98LA112.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 29, 1998 in LONE GROVE, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-201T, registration: N43763
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted trees and terrain following a total loss of engine power and a total loss of electrical power during the cross country flight in dark night conditions. Engine continuity was confirmed and the engine did not exhibit any conditions that would have caused a loss of power. The primary electrical lead from the alternator to the main buss separated at the alternator terminal. NTSB metallurgist found that reconstruction of the broken ends of the alternator cable revealed that the cable was bent through an angle of 90 degrees adjacent to the separation, consistent with deformation associated with the crimping process. A few of the wires contained ductile dimple features on their fractured surfaces and necking down deformation adjacent to the fracture, features indicative of overstress separation. The total usable fuel was 72 gallons. The calculated fuel burn for the flight was 49 gallons.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The total loss of engine power for an undetermined reason. Factors were the total loss of electrical power resulting from a separated alternator cable due to improper maintenance by unknown maintenance personnel, the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing, and the dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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